Hey there, and welcome to both the new week and a new edition of Shonen Showdown, the only fighting anime and manga recap that features The Idolm@ster's Yayoi Takatsuki as a guest header, because she loves the pretty butterflies from this week's episode of Naruto!
And no, it's totally not because I forgot to back up a copy of the Shonen Showdown header! Nope, not at all!
Thankfully, we did back up our weekly recaps of the most badass battles this side of the pacific, with Bleach, Naruto, One Piece and Fairy Tail!
Check 'em out below, then tell us your thoughts on all the badassery on display!
Fairy Tail Episode 143
This week we finally got to see a few cool things, like Wendy combining her skills into one powerful breath attack to end Grim Reaper and his silly memory problems. While she definitely shines as a support fighter, I'm always pleased to see "weaker" characters save the day. It's too bad though, because we know that Bikslow is a powerful guy. It's just a case of skill incompatibility as well as a big gap in power.
Natsu and the others are still struggling, and so is Erza's team. I think that Natsu's team will finally get somewhere in the next couple episodes, though. At least, Lucy finally tossed in saying well, who cares if we aren't totally in sync.
More (most) importantly, Gildarts and Lexi finally found the real Michelle Lobster, which finally confirms (along with Happy's beatdown dialogue) that the Michelle hanging around Lucy is definitely bad news. I'm not sure if Tako Man also knows about it, but I guess we'll see. For now, he's just watching the Fairy Tail folks get their butts kicked.
Finally, we've got Katja and the subplot of picking away at the biological brethren of celestial wizards involved with that Neville guy. Racer goes after her, and because of Dranbolt's efforts she loses her magic, but doesn't go into this weird coma the others were induced into. It's kind of a shame that he hasn't heard Fairy Tail have returned yet - he's been suffering this entire time thinking Wendy's been killed because of him. Doesn't this other guy now? Kind of weird that he'd keep it from him. Ah, well. He's still an active participant in the manga, so I guess they just wanted to write in some drama for the anime fillers.
For next episode, I think we're going to see Gajeel and Juvia kick that ass hat's butt and save Hughes. I have no idea what'll happen to Natsu's team, though. Lucy had Leon out, but things were still looking hairy. Erza and the others look like they're toast, too. And, of course, I'm still suspicious about Samuel and why he's trying to team up with the other Exceeds.
[Catch Fairy Tail on Hulu, FUNimation and Crunchyroll!]
Naruto Shippuden episode 274
Ino-Shika-Cho take the spotlight for the second episode in a row as Zombie Asuma takes them on. And of the three, it's Choji that takes a role suitable to his, er, width. He's the Volstagg of Naruto (yeah Thor!)
Interestingly, this isn't the first time a butterfly metaphor's been used in battle anime. It's the second time in Naruto, and Bleach's final enemy, Aizen, used the butterfly as his second-to-last form. It's mildly funny, as both of these characters are quite manly, or at minimum, unequivocally male. No western superhero comic would employ butterfly imagery as overtly, unless the hero in question were some kind of insect-themed one, or female (Pixie ahoy!)
That said, western comics are at least a little more sympathetic to tubby characters (though they still are rare). No one would expect The Blob to power up by slimming down. Then again, The Blob is kind of a disgusting psychopath, so I suppose it evens out.
Where was I? Oh, right. Ino-Shika-Cho gets the job done, and Zombie Asuma is down for the count. Only a few more characters to go before the main event of this arc, namely some hot Kage-on-Kage action.
[Fatty fatty butterfly (butterball?) on Crunchyroll!]
One Piece Episode 559
Whelp, Noah is still posing quite the problem, what with the giant ship's mass putting the air bubble around Fishman Island at risk. Oh, and it's still making a bee line toward Shirahoshi. The citizens try to gang up en masse to slow down the ship, but the chains are simply too big for any amount of man power to slow it down. It doesn't help when Hordy rains down his Shark Arrows on the poor guys.
Shirahoshi finally makes it out into the open water. Good for the princess, bad for Luffy. Hordy sneaks up on our hero and the two have a quick exchange that ends up with Luffy exposed to the sea water. Lucky for him, Fukaboshi deflects Hordy's killing blow and gets a bubble around Luffy.
To make matters worse, Decken tosses a set of knives at Shirahoshi, but her other brothers manage to intercept the attack. Shirahoshi swims toward the surface to preserve the ship, giving her brothers time to distract Decken and help Luffy. Hordy catches up to Fukaboshi and Luffy, forcing them to run away. They bump into Noah, which gives Luffy the idea to use the air in the ship to tip the scales of the fight in his favor. However Hordy makes it onto Noah first and deals a fatal blow to Decken, making Noah lose its propelling force and begin a dive toward the island.
[You can watch One Piece over at FUNimation!]
Bleach chapter 503
The epic thing Kenpachi was supposed to do is here! Or rather, the results of his incredible deeds are on display. Long story short: Killing three Sternritter whose names are so dumb they were clearly slated to die before we even knew them. How hilarious? This hilarious:
Well, upon further reflection those names aren't quite as hilarious as when I first read them. After all, we just met Quincy with names like "Bambietta Basterbine" and "NaNaNa Najahkoop". I suppose the silliness here is in the organization, what with both codenames and letters, a mix of Metal Gear Solid 3's Cobra Unit ("The Fear", "The End", et al) and Men in Black. The Soul Reapers and Espada kept it simple with their Japanese/Spanish counting and the Visored and Xcution didn't even bother. But, I suppose everyone's got to have a gimmick, and this is an amusing one.
But back to Kenpachi. In retrospect, he seems the perfect sort of dude to fight these guys. Without a bankai to rely on, he's got nothing the Sternritter can steal, and has all the raw power needed to chop the crap out of 'em, as demonstrated earlier. Of course, he just picked a fight with the leader-man, which could spell a death sentence. Will he fall?!
In other news, Yamamoto has entered the fight, taking on a big dude who is destined to die because he's big and strong and arrogant. It'll likely be a blowout victory, but if we're lucky we'll get to see what the 1st Squad Vice-Captain's bankai is.
Meanwhile, Ichigo continues to rattle his cage. Notice his face, which seems to be taking on aspects of his Hollow Mask. Intriguing. I didn't know he still had that ability, after having it ganked by Ginjou.
Naruto chapter 597
It's lecture time as Kakashi explains the hows and whys of Tobi's Space-Time gimmickry. Long story short, he's not actually turning ghostly, but rather shifting bits of himself (or his whole self) into an extradimensional space - the same one Kamui shifts things into. Therefore, Kamui-ing objects or Rasengans into the space as he shifts would make with the horrible injury.
In an ideal situation, they should drop a fat rock onto Tobi (forcing him to shift his whole body into the other dimension), then Kamui a nuclear time-bomb in there, filling the space with deadly deadly explosive goodness.
In other news, more and more evidence is mounting that Tobi is actually Ob-wait..."To-bi"...and "Obi-to"...gasp! It [i]is[/i] him!
Now for theories as to how he survived the battle that "killed" him. My theory? He awakened his space-time jutsu and escaped the rock that was pinning him down. At some point Rin, the third member of Kakashi's old team, is killed, and Obito takes it personally, coming up with his plan to create a world where no one dies.
There, I finished Naruto. Check, please!
One Piece Chapter 677
It turns out Law is quite a bit smarter than he let on and switched out the sea-cuffs for normal ones. This makes it easy from him to get loose, free the Straw-Hats and broker a good deal with Smoker. All the other groups converge on Caesar's lab and now we've got everybody back together. Well, except for Chopper. We still don't know who tossed him that note.
However, the bigger news is that more of the Supernova's have been revealed. We get updated bounties for Kid, Killer, Hawkins and Scratchmen Apoo. Despite their arguing, there's the potential for these three pirate crews to enter into an alliance, which would probably be devastating for the Marines. Imaging, Luffy and Law have already decided to team up and now we got these three talking. It's going to be bad for the World Government and interesting for the Four Emperors.
From other sites around the web